Ms Juliana Whonge Cherera is the new vice chairperson of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
In a statement announcing her appointment, IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said Ms Cherera was unanimously elected by commissioners during a plenary meeting held on Tuesday.
“The commission takes this opportunity to congratulate Ms Cherera on her appointment and would like to assure stakeholders of its commitment to delivering a free, fair and credible 2022 General Election,” Mr Chebukati said.
Ms Cherera, who is among the four commissioners who were appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta last month, takes over from Ms Consolata Nkatha Bucha Maina who resigned alongside two others in April 2018 after falling out with Mr Chebukati.
Ms Maina resigned alongside Ms Margaret Mwachanya and Mr Paul Kurgat citing lack of confidence in the commission and Mr Chebukati.
Another commissioner, Ms Roselyn Akombe, had resigned a week before the October 26 repeat presidential election saying she and her staff had been repeatedly threatened.
Ms Cherera has a background in Education and Management. Before her appointment to the commission, she worked as chief officer in the Strategic Delivery Unit of the Mombasa County Government.
During her vetting, she promised the committee on Justice of the National Assembly that despite having served at the county government, she will maintain fairness and a non-partisan approach in election management if appointed.
Challenged by members of the committee on whether she has the courage to oversee elections, Ms Cherera stated that she lives by her philosophy of never quitting, arguing that resigning under pressure is a sign of failure.
“My people skills enable me to relate well and manage any differences of opinion,” she said, likening her entry into IEBC as a captain of a ship who can never let it sink.
“The captain stands by fellow sailors and steers the ship to stability,” she said.